Despite teetering on the brink of an AIDS epidemic in the mid 1990s, China has been able to limit the rate of infection to only 0.1% of its population – one of the lowest rates in the world – according to the latest data.
The story wasn’t always so positive, and China’s government has a history of ignoring the issues or covering them up. Up until 2002 the official estimate for national cases stood at only a few thousand, but this was revised up to 1 million in a single day once the authorities decided they could ignore the disease no longer.
Against this backdrop, the story of a young schoolboy from Harbin in northern China really brings home how much one individual can do to make a difference in a society that had long refused to acknowledge the suffering of AIDS patients.
In 2005, Sun Huixi was just 10 years old …